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Ireland Bow Out Of World Cup Qualification Race

Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier campaign ended in utter devastation as Sarah Law’s last-gasp conversion guided Scotland to a dramatic 20-18 victory.

The result saw the never-say-die Scots finish the round-robin competition in Parma as runners-up, securing a place at the forthcoming repechage tournament.

Hosts Italy finished top of the table, advancing to New Zealand next year as the Europe 1 qualifiers. For Ireland, their World Cup qualification bid is over.

Reflecting the bitter disappointment in the Irish camp, head coach Adam Griggs said: “Hugely disappointed. I mean it’s heartbreaking to watch a conversion, with time up, go through the posts.

“We’ve got 28 women there who had a huge goal, and support staff who have worked tirelessly through a Covid pandemic, Six Nations, through dates being changed, all with a goal that essentially was really close, and a last conversion takes it away.

“It’s hugely heartbreaking. I feel for all the players and the support staff that have put all this work into it.

“Ultimately, we thought we were on the right track, we thought we had done the preparation to be successful. Sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve in life and it’s one of those things that we just have to take on the chin at the moment.

“Just speaking to the group, there’s a huge core of young players there who have done the jersey proud. Once they can take time to reflect on this experience, I hope it makes them better rugby players but also better people.

“Going through adversity like this, it’s really tough. I think they need to hold their heads up high. While it’s just so upsetting right now, I hope they will bounce back from this.”